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Department of the Interior’s Climate
Change Task Force:
Linking Science to Resource
Management Decision Making and
Tom Armstrong
Senior Advisor for Global Change Programs
U.S. Geological Survey
[email protected]
U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Geological Survey
The Federal Niche - The Strengths of
Science, Monitoring and Information
• History of climate change science research
and long-term monitoring
• Monitoring assets- from ice cores toIce
gages to Landsat
• Multi-disciplinary capabilities and scientific
expertise across the landscape
• Capability to assess prehistoric, historic and
current climate effects
Stream Gage
• Ability to integrate broad arrays and types of
information for effective decision-making
Landsat 7
DOI Resource Management Issues and Challenges
Water Availability
Water Quality
Increased Flood Risk
Coastal Impacts Associated with Sea-level Rise
Melting Permafrost and Sea Ice
Impacts on Native Peoples
Outbreaks of Pests, Invasive Species, and Diseases
Species Migration and Habitat Change
Threatened and Endangered Species
Wildland Fires
Examples of Science Needs for
Legal and Policy Issues
• Climate change may move existing plant
and animal species farther north and to
higher elevations
• Revisit the definition of “invasive species”
• Preserve species through artificial habitat or
• Determine when extinction is inevitable
• Species shifts outside of their existing range
and the currently designated critical habitat
Timely Local and Regional Data are Needed
• New Paradigm for management decision making
• Need data at appropriate scales (local to regional)
• Need data and resultant information in timely manner
• Climate impacts and relevant implications
• A DOI-wide science and data GAP analysis
• An integrated science and performance monitoring
• A DOI-wide process for linking science, data,
modeling, monitoring and decisions
Adaptive Management Built Upon Multi-scale
Science Information, Decision Support and Models
Field management-level input capability
Flexible and rapidly responsive information
Regional and National data network coordination
Rapid information acquisition and dissemination a
top priority
Proposed Science Needs from the DOI Task
Force Science Subcommittee
• Development of a DOI integrated
science and monitoring plan,
including existing monitoring
• Improving integration and access
to USGS and other DOI Bureau
data sets crucial to climate change
science and resource management
• Downscaling of models
• Building decision-making
capabilities centered on a robust
Global Change Information
Management System (GC-IMS)
• An adaptive management
approach with USGS science and
DOI resource Bureaus
The Vision – A National Climate Effects Network
• A truly integrated National climate effect
monitoring network capable at a range of
temporal and spatial scales
• A scientific team focused on early detection and
scientific analysis in support of adaptation or
mitigation strategies
• An information dissemination and decision
support system for cost effective, scientifically
rigorous management and policy decisions
• The capacity for the next generation to protect
and sustain our National trust resources
through early detection of change
• Congressional funding obtained in FY08 (7.5M)
• FY09 Climate Change Initiative
Platte River Watershed Key Issues
• Carbon Management: The Interaction
Between Agriculture, Energy,
Infrastructure and Climate
• Climate Effects on Water Availability
for Human and Ecological Needs
• Impacts of Climate Change on
Landscapes, Biodiversity, and
Natural Resources
Building Partnerships
Key Stakeholders
Other Federal Agencies
State and Local Agencies
Private Sector